Friday, October 01, 2004

Diplomats: UN Plans Visit to Suspected Iran Parchin Site

Top News Article | "Diplomats: UN Plans Visit to Suspected Iran Nuke Site

While Iran is providing access, it has balked at the IAEA's demand that it freeze all activities on uranium enrichment.
Friday a leading Iranian cleric said his country would never be bullied into giving up its nuclear program but denied an weapons' ambitions.

"Iran will never yield to international pressure to abandon its home-grown nuclear technology," Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, who heads Iran's hardline Guardian Council -- a powerful, unelected supervisory body -- told worshippers at prayers in Tehran.

"Americans should know that it is just impossible. You will take this wish to the grave," he added. "We have no intention of pursuing nuclear weapons."

Washington says Tehran is developing weapons under cover of a civilian atomic energy program and wants it reported to the Security Council. Tehran vehemently denies the accusation.

Iranian officials were not available for comment, though a diplomat close to the negotiations said Iran had agreed in principle to allow IAEA inspectors to visit all sites.

David Albright, a former U.N. weapons inspector and head of the Institute for Science and International Security, said Parchin was a "huge site dedicated to the research, development, and production of ammunition, rockets, and high explosives."

A senior U.S. official told Reuters last month that Iran had refused to allow the U.N. into Parchin, which he said was a strong indication that it was a nuclear weapons site.

He also accused the IAEA of suppressing information on Parchin in its latest Iran report -- a charge the agency denied."


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